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Previous Update - March 10, 2006

March 10, 2006 - Once, Twice, Three Times a Pepsi

If any one company will hate me when this is all over, it will probably be Pepsi.

Back on March 1, Pepsi wrote a response to my Pepsi cola letter (#58) and sent over a few free gifts — all of which I received on March 6. Well, today I received three more responses from Pepsi (evidently Pepsi owns Rice-a-Roni, Quaker, and Gatorade).

Concerning my request for free Rice-a-Roni, a letter from Pepsi dated March 3 told me "no". With it, a few Rice-a-Roni recipe guides.

Concerning my request for free Quaker products, a letter from Pepsi dated March 6 also told me "no". With it, nothing.

Concerning my request for free Propel fitness water, a letter from Pepsi dated March 7 told me that while they don't send out free product, they do have a few coupons for me — three 60-cent coupons for Propel to be exact.

I'm just hoping that I didn't inadvertently write to any other Pepsi-owned companies, or I'm going to start to (or continue to?) piss people off over there at Pepsi with all of my letters. Anyway, moving on...

Nestle sent over a letter indicating that (like Pepsi) they don't send out free samples, but they did include two coupons good for $1 worth of Nestle candy.

Thanks to Nestle, and repeat thanks to Pepsi for the freebies.

A Face for Radio?
I was contacted via e-mail by a (seemingly small) radio station that wanted to do an interview. I was also contacted by the producer of a TV show called The Hour based out of Canada, as he wanted me to come onto his show.

I am respectfully declining all media interviews, both radio and television. I can assure you that any such media coverage will only (further) skew the results (probably in my favor), and I can't have that. Thanks for the consideration, however.

Accept No Imitations
I've received a few interesting e-mails from "companies". Whether or not they're legit, I can't say.

Subject: where's our letter?
From: Saaf, Michael []


we love hearing from our consumers - even when they ask for free stuff. so, we were disappointed that you didn't send us a letter in your experiment. please send me your size and i'll send you a cool new jean.

michael saaf
consumer enthusiast

The message header looked legit, and is definitely Levi's site... but the lack of punctuation? The letter itself just seems... odd. I'll let someone else write to Levi for free jeans. Second one...

Subject: Response from Staples
From: [name]


My name is [name removed] and I am a Sales Manager for Staples in Cincinnati, OH. I was emailed a link to your page and found it very intriguing. If you sent the letter to our corporate office, thats probably why you didn't get a response. If you sent it to a store, then you would have gotten something, I'm sure. Anyway, I would love the opportunity to send you some Staples freebie stuff just to make the company look better and show that we can be fun and supportive of our "fans." I have a box full of Staples brand stuff I can send you, just let me know where to send it.

[name removed]

Probably legit. I added the emphasis above, because it makes for an interesting question — would he still have loved the opportunity to send me free stuff if my letter to Staples weren't on this site? And finally...

Subject: Avis Address
From: [name]

Hi Tom:

Love your site. You can send your letter to me if it bounces back again:

[name removed]
Avis Rent a Car
6 Sylvan Way
Parsippany, NJ 07054

Good luck!
[name removed]

Probably legit. I'm just curious how many of these companies would (or wouldn't) give me the time of day if they hadn't seen the site. Anyway, to those letters which are from legitimate sources, thanks for the consideration.

Freebies Summary
Who? What?
approx. $
Fellowes Four cans of compressed air $32.00
Carma Labs One 0.25 oz. jar of Carmex $1.29
Stash Tea Nine teabags $1.80
White Castle 19 burgers, 2 breakfast sandwiches, 2 orders of Chicken Rings $12.37
Airborne One free tube of Airborne $5.99
Reynolds Two 50-cent coupons $1.00
S.C. Johnson One free ($3 max.) Skintimate coupon $3.00
Church & Dwight Two $1 Arm & Hammer coupons $2.00
Pfizer Three 50-cent Purell coupons $1.50
Pepsi Pepsi pen, pencil, stickers, and gift catalog N/A
Biotene Free samples of gum, toothpaste, and mouthwash N/A
Burt's Bees Free stick of lip balm $1.87
Dunkin Donuts Book of five $1 gift checks $5.00
Mercedes Benz Keychain $30.00
Eden Foods Pasta, tea, soymilk $9.54
Chicken of the Sea Two $2 coupons, one 25-cent coupon $4.25
Sanford Four pens $5.00
Gatorade (aka Pepsi) Three 60-cent coupons for Propel $1.80
Nestle Two coupons for Nestle candy $1.00
19 companies $119.41

Rice-a-Roni, Quaker, and Gatorade (aka Pepsi)